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Cost Accountant

Sandton Sandton, Gauteng North Johannesburg, South Africa
Closing date
May 21, 2024

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Job Role
Contract Type
Full Time
Company Description

We are Africa's most prodigious media, marketing, communications and advertising powerhouse. Our business represents the best of African creativity, celebrating where we come from and the expression and voices of our people.


We are seeking a highly organized and detail-oriented Cost Accountant to join our team. In this role, you will play a pivotal role in forecasting, monitoring profitability by client, and ensuring efficient financial operations within our organization. You will work closely with the Financial Controller and contribute to the company's success by maintaining accurate financial records and supporting strategic decision-making. The ideal candidate will have a deep understanding of financial methods, cost control, and a keen eye for detail. This role demands exceptional communication skills, the ability to meet tight deadlines, and the capacity to build strong relationships both internally and externally while handling sensitive financial information.


  • Collaborate in compiling monthly revenue forecasts by client, category, and product code.
  • Assist in analyzing variances between the latest revenue forecast and the previous forecast/original commitment.
  • Contribute to FTE analysis, allocating forecasted hours per person/role to clients based on historical data or Scope of Work.
  • Participate in the preparation of client profitability forecasts by multiplying hours per person by the tiered rates.
  • Aid in forecasting delegated costs and allocating them to clients.

Actuals Reporting:

  • Assist in monthly revenue reconciliation to ensure accurate data on Chase and processing of journals, ensuring NAV ties up to revenue reconciliation before flash reporting by 12pm on the first working day of each month.
  • Monitor retainer billings to ensure all retainers are billed promptly.
  • Analyze revenue overs/unders vs. forecast by client and revenue type.
  • Monitor accrued and deferred revenue to ensure timely clearance.

Client Profitability Reporting:
  • Compare actual client hours to forecasted client hours and analyze variances.
  • Monitor timesheet recording to ensure accuracy and timeliness.
  • Track monthly net contribution per client and assist with analyzing fluctuations.

Job Management:
  • Ensure accurate categorization of new jobs based on billing category.
  • Approve POs, CEs and invoices in NAV and Chase.
  • Thoroughly inspect and approve jobs on Chase.
  • Review and approve Cost Estimates (CEs) to ensure they align with the brief and correct practice work type.
  • Ensure no CEs are placed into "approved" status without evidence of client approval attached to the bag.
  • Monitor work in progress (WIP) to prevent external costs before client approval, non-billable costs are written off to income statement timeously and ensure prompt reconciliation of finished jobs.
  • Conduct a final review of jobs marked for closure, attaching explanations for profit or loss on job reconciliations.
  • Perform a monthly debit WIP review and send debit WIP provisions to Re:Sources to raise.
  • Prepare month end reports i.e., WIP Ageing, Debit WIP, Open POs for processing to Re:Sources GL Team.
  • Review of balance sheet reconciliations and inspection of support saved by the Re:Sources GL Team.
  • Monthly actuals reporting to Global Group; checking balance sheet recons to ensure items are cleared promptly; checking allocation of house costs in NAV and ensuring relevant accruals are raised; Prepare analytical review of monthly results and balance sheet.
  • Assist in Periodic Budget preparation; Collating the revenue forecasts from the Client service heads; Forecast overhead costs; Analyze variances vs Commit/previous Forecast.

Overhead Cost Control:
  • Verify delegated cost expenditures against budget before raising purchase orders (POs) to ensure the overheads stay within budgets.
  • Raise POs on NAV for all delegated costs.
  • Submit documentation to Re:Sources for monthly open PO accrual.

Accounts Receivable:
  • Gather documentation for loading new clients and submit to Re:Sources.
  • Monitor Debtors Age Analysis and ensure effective follow-up on overdue balances.
  • Assist as necessary in overdue balance follow-ups by Resources.

Weekly Vendor Payments and Accounts Payable:
  • Approve new vendor applications on EFTsure.
  • Review weekly payment batches vs. supporting documentation and ensure submission to Re:Sources before deadline (including non-ESS expense claims).
  • Review creditors' Age Analysis and follow up on overdue amounts/debit balances.

Urgent Payments:
  • Attend to ad-hoc urgent payment requests i.e shoots, etc.
  • Check if we billed client for urgent payment requests.
  • Facilitate the approval process for urgent payments with FC.
  • Maintain records(excel) of urgent payments and communicate with Re:Sources.
  • Follow up on the payment status and inform relevant stakeholders to avoid overdue.

Ad-Hoc Responsibilities:
  • Monthly review and comments on Creditors Age Analysis for balances aged 60+.
  • Monthly review and comments on Debtors Age Analysis for balances aged 60+.
  • Create POs for American Express business travel invoices and submit for processing.
  • Create new vendors and update vendor information as required.
  • Participate in monthly Accounts Payable (AP) and Debtors' (AR) meetings.
  • Attend weekly internal finance meetings.
  • Prepare necessary support for monthly Business Unit Finance meetings.
  • Send reminders for billing deadlines to the team.


  • Bachelor's Degree in Finance or equivalent (B.Com Finance).
  • Essential experience in an advertising/marketing agency.
  • Minimum 3 years' experience as a Cost Accountant.
  • In depth knowledge of financial analysis, budgeting and forecasting.
  • Experience with financial reporting and variance analysis.
  • Proficiency in financial systems, including NAV and Chase.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Excellent communication, organization, and time management abilities.
  • High attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Ability to work effectively under pressure and meet tight deadlines.
  • Proven ability to build strong internal and external relationships.
  • Commitment to handling financial information with confidentiality and professionalism.

Join our team and contribute to the financial success and operational excellence of our organization!

Additional Information

Publicis Groupe, the second largest communications group in the world, employing over 100 000 talented minds, across 100 countries. Publicis Groupe has made a name for itself by putting its people first. We, at Publicis Groupe Africa, are no different. With over 60 agencies across 36 countries on the continent, there's no better place to grow a rewarding career in media, communications, marketing or advertising in Africa.

Publicis Groupe Africa is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and prohibits any forms of discrimination or harassment. We celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all our employees in line with our Employment Equity Plan. All appointments will be based on qualifications, experience and best fit, but preference will be given to all candidates from designated groups. Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted. Should you not hear from us within two weeks after submitting your application, please consider your application as unsuccessful. For more information and other vacancies, visit

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